It was supposed to be a special and momentous occasion. For the first time in 22 years, the UFC was returning to Buffalo, NY with UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson 2.
But instead of a night people that will remember for great fights – which there were during the marathon show – everyone seems to be talking about what transpired during and after the two largest fights of the night.
First, there was the controversial ending to the Middleweight bout between Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi that saw Mousasi be awarded the TKO decision after what ultimately was an error by referee Dan Miragliotta.
Miragliotta stopped the fight for knees to the head of Weidman that looked to be legal, and Weidman was able to pace around to recover because of an apparent “rule” that gave him five minutes to compose himself. During that time, it appeared that officials used replay – which isn't allowed by the New York State Athletic Commission – to help make the ultimate decision.
The confusion throughout the discussions lead to resounding boos from fans in attendance who voiced their displeasure for nearly 10 minutes. From the time Miragliotta stopped the fight to throughout the video package for the main event, the crowd booed what had went down with many even throwing in a “Bullshit!” chant.
And just when things settled down with the main event between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Daniel “DC” Cormier for the Light Heavyweight Championship starting, another – albeit smaller – controversy arose.
At least, according to fans.
Cormier submitted Johnson in the second round to retain his championship which drew some cheers but mostly boos from the pro-Rumble crowd. What happened next is what made fans a bit upset as the night came to a close.
Rumble announced his retirement from the UFC immediately after the loss, leading to discussions among fans that they watched a man fight who's heart clearly wasn't fully in it.
Johnson said it wasn't true during his post-fight press conference, and that he always “went all out” each and every time he stepped inside the cage.
But no matter what the fighters said or did after the fact, it didn't change the feeling of many that the city of Buffalo and the fans who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets to the show were robbed of the two biggest fights of the night.
Hell, there were fans in the concourse afterward yelling “No Heart!” regarding Johnson's performance. They were clearly voicing their disapproval with what transpired with one fan saying that he wouldn’t count either of the final two bouts as fights at all.
“Weidman and Musasi, those guys, it was like the fight could barely start before it was shut down,” he said. “Someone should be held accountable for what happened.”
As far as Johnson versus Cormier went, the fan simply said that it looked like Rumble just stopped fighting after the first round.
“It sucked,” he said. “Absolutely sucked.”
It definitely sucks for a fan base that waited for so long to get a shot to show itself as a market for large-scale UFC events to seemingly get screwed out of two top-tier fights.
Though Dana White did say that Buffalo proved itself worthy of hosting a UFC PPV again in the future, one has to wonder if, after what happened on Saturday night, the city's fans will view the UFC worthy of their money again?